JOURNAL ARTICLE

Childhood trauma, trauma in adulthood, and psychiatric diagnoses: results from a community sample

Caron Zlotnick, Jennifer Johnson, Robert Kohn, Benjamin Vicente, Pedro Rioseco, Sandra Saldivia
Comprehensive Psychiatry 2008, 49 (2): 163-9
18243889
This study compared the prevalence rates of various psychiatric disorders in persons with first onset of a potentially traumatic event (PTE) in childhood, persons with first onset of a PTE in adulthood, and those with no history of a PTE in a representative sample of Chileans. The Diagnostic of Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Revised Third Edition (DSM-III-R), posttraumatic stress disorder, and antisocial personality disorder modules from the Diagnostic Interview Schedule and modules for a range of DSM-III-R diagnoses from the Composite International Diagnostic Interview were administered to 2390 Chileans. The study found that exposure to a lifetime PTE was associated with a higher probability of psychiatric morbidity than no PTE exposure. A PTE with childhood onset relative to adult onset was related to lifetime panic disorder, independent of the number of lifetime and demographic differences between the 2 groups. Childhood interpersonal trauma compared with interpersonal trauma in adulthood was significantly associated with lifetime panic disorder, agoraphobia, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Our findings suggest that specific disorders are linked to interpersonal trauma and PTEs that occur in childhood rather than later in life.

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